Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

The Festival of the Sacrifice, Mali Style -3-

“… A prayer is said, and the sheep’s throat is cut…”

Sheep cut throat

“… After this, the head is cut off..”

The sheep head

“… Often, one of the brothers in the family will take and blow them (the lungs) up like a balloon, inflating them fully several times, in play. The children find this great fun to see… ”

In Mali, as you can probably see, it’s not the lungs the children blow up!

Children balloon games

(Photos directly taken from Michael Palin BBC documentary film “Sahara”, during the Festival of the Sacrifice in Mali)



December 22, 2007 - Posted by | culture, death, events, family, Festival of the Sheep, Festivals of the World, food, Muslim Holidays, photography, travel


  1. Eeewww… is that what I think it is? what that kids blowing up? Haha!

    Comment by supersizeme | December 23, 2007

  2. Well I need to get out and travel so I’d better publish soon and get on with it.

    Comment by Michael | December 23, 2007

  3. You are such a NAUGHTY girl, Supe, to have such thoughts, here, just before Christmas!….

    Comment by Miki | December 23, 2007

  4. Those don’t look at all like lungs to me (having seen them many times). First of all, lungs would normally be double that size, they would be bright pink, and they are generally blown up by an attached windpipe which is about 8-10 inches (10-20 cm) long. The shape of them looks wrong, too. As far as I am aware, it is only male sheep that are sacrificed…I’m not quite sure what they are blowing up. These are very interesting pictures, however.

    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | December 23, 2007

  5. As I said in my entry, it is indeed not the lungs which the children are blowing up. The fact that it is the male sheep which are sacrificed should give you the clue what it is…
    The documentary film about Sahara, from which these photos are taken, was interesting, and the camera work was fantastic! Many of the photos I took from my screen look almost like paintings!

    Comment by Miki | December 23, 2007

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